Michael Oko, head of sleep service at United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (ULHT), and founder of the Snoring Disorders Centre, which specialises in treating sleep apnoea, has called for the NHS to provide patients with a complete set of information when choosing where to go for treatment.
What is important to a patient? According to Lincolnshire patients what they want is: to be seen locally; by a friendly doctor; in a timely manner; in a pleasant and clean environment; and to be given a high quality service. The level of success in achieving of all these things by a healthcare provider is measurable, and is measured at ULHT using the latest interactive technology. However, patients and GPs need access to the information when booking, and need to have comparable information from other providers.
Sleep apnoea expert Mr Oko said, “At the moment there is no evidence available to patients and GPs through Choose and Book about the quality of the service they would expect to receive. People need to be given the full picture from healthcare providers, whether public or private, and then they can make an informed choice. patient satisfaction should be at the heart of the NHS. Healthcare is a service industry, but it doesn’t seem to behave like one. If you’ve got no evidence that you are delivering a good service to your patients, then it is impossible to review and improve upon.”
The Jayex QI Interactive system allows ULHT to obtain the information that can enable consultants like Mr Oko to transform services to specifically meet the needs of the patient. By continually monitoring patient feedback all year round in real-time, they can avoid only hearing the complaints, analyse performance on an ongoing basis, and share best practice across the Trust where clinicians and consultants regularly receive positive feedback.
Mr Oko saw 383 patients at the Snoring Disorders Centre from April 2010 to April 2011 and on average 96% of patients were very satisfied with the service they received across five categories (understanding, explanations, friendliness, politeness, listening), and 82.5% were very satisfied with the cleanliness and pleasantness of the surroundings (with 96.5% satisfied or very satisfied).
Mr Oko added, “An essential part of the revalidation process is measuring patient feedback and healthcare organisations must deploy the tools that will enable them to gather feedback and measure performance in advance of revalidation. Every Trust and clinician is under great pressure to perform in a challenging financial climate. In order to provide high-quality care you ultimately need to be thinking about your patients, what they want and how you can improve it. Unless you have an efficient method to monitor and measure the patient’s experience, the coming years will be considerably tough.”
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